Leonotus leonurus ‘Lion’s Tail’
Sunset Climate Zones 8-24
This unique plant will add texture and volume to your fall garden, in just the right color: Orange! This open branching African shrub grows 4-6 feet tall by 4-6 feet wide and would look PERFECT with last week’s special blog plant: Verbena bonariensis ‘Buenos Aires’. The bold combination of purple and orange will create the seasonal color you’re looking for. Both ‘Lion’s Tail’ and ‘Buenos Aires’ attract beneficial pollinators (the bees, butterflies and Hummingbirds can hardly resist them!) They both grow well in Mediterranean climates, such as our slice of paradise here on the Central Coast.
Leonotus leonurus ‘Lion’s Tail’ bears dense whorls of downy, bright orange flowers from summer to fall. The blossoms themselves start out as bright orange round dots around a tubular stem, growing into long, outreaching tubes circumferencing the stem. At maturity, the flower’s tubular shape is consistent with its evolution in concert with the African sun birds, which have beaks fitted to sipping nectar from the brilliant tubular blossom. The bright green leaves are 2-5 inches long and are aromatic if crushed, as is typical with plants in the mint family. It can be easily combined in the California landscape with other drought resistant plants and succulents that will augment its rugged beauty such as Aloe, Trichostema lanatum, or Lavender x intermedia ‘Provence’. Plant ‘Lion’s Tail’ in full sun in well-drained soil. Prune back occasionally to maintain shape. If burned by frost, trim back to live growth when the weather turns warm again, and watch this brilliant perennial display the magnificence of a lion!
We are currently growing Leonotus leonurus ‘Lion’s Tail’ in 1 gallon containers. If you are interested in this and the many other plants we are growing please give us a call! You will find all the information you are looking for at www.clearwatercolor.com, and we are also on Facebook, if you want to keep up t date on what is happening around the nursery! Thanks for reading, we appreciate our customers and wish you a happy Equinox!